Phoenix Wright: Reasons "Rise From The Ashes" Is Awful?

Okay, I really enjoyed the first four cases in the Phoenix Wright trilogy but the fifth case (which was added later with the Nintendo DS re-release?) is garbage and Ben said I needed to tell everyone why because I had a LIST. Here we go.

A short but not comprehensive list of things that happened which strike me as nonsense.

1. There was somehow (against all odds) no decisive evidence against Joe Darke, BUT it's fine because he came in to confess out of guilt, BUT he then escaped from the questioning room during a storm and power outage, BUT he ran up from the 2nd floor to the 15th floor rather than escaping to the 1st floor, BUT he was still in possession of his knife despite turning himself into police custody and presumably being searched before being taken over for questioning, SO despite being wracked with guilt over his murders (and despite all his murders being "practical" killings to eliminate witnesses, rather than being murders for the fun of killing) he decided he might as well kill this innocent girl (Ema) for old time's sake.

2. In her testimony and subsequent picture, Ema saw a man raise a knife to plunge into another man, BUT it was Neil Marshall and not Joe Darke, BUT why the fuck was Neil going for a kill instead of trying to restrain the suspect?!?! That was clearly a blow that would've killed someone, so why wasn't this decorated and noble detective who everyone thought so highly of trying to KILL rather than RESTRAIN?

3. How did Ema and Darke even ENTER the office on the 15th floor, given that you need a detective badge to get in? That was a major plot point!

4. Emma pushed Neil and IN DOING SO managed to knock Neil, Darke, AND herself out cold AND erase her memory. HOW?

5. Gant showed up to find three people unconscious. Instead of taking the killer into custody as Very Clearly Guilty and having a slamdunk case, he saw an opportunity to get Lana indebted to him. He saw IN THE DARK that Ema's shove of Neil left a hand-print on his vest, so he cut off a huge piece of Neil's vest (correctly anticipating that no one would ask why Neil's vest was missing a huge chunk, and then he murdered Neil by making it look like Ema shoved him onto a sword. He could've instead murdered Neil with one of the two knives in the room and put it in Ema's hand, making it look like she stabbed the wrong person. That would have been just as easy for Lana to "clean up" (forge) and it would've been a much more serious crime than "pushed someone and they fell onto a sharp thing".

6. Gant somehow CORRECTLY anticipated that:

a) Lana would assume Ema shoved Neil instead of beliving that Darke shoved Neil.
b) Ema wouldn't remember what happened and/or wouldn't come clean over her sister's objections.
c) Lana would rather falsify a crime scene than face up to an action that her sister would NEVER be convicted for. (Ema is a minor, it was self-defense, AND an accident!)
d) Lana would ask for Gant's help in forging the crime scene, and in doing so feel indebted to him and willing to do whatever he said, no matter how unethical, from there on out.

Gant correctly anticipated ALL OF THAT.

7. Gant drew Ema's name in blood on a vase that Neil couldn't have reached, AND broke the vase so he could keep a piece of the name, forgetting that Neil couldn't have drawn on broken shards. Lana then erased the blood from the shards for... some reason? She honestly says she didn't know Ema's name was on the shards, so apparently she thought the shards themselves were not incriminating towards Emma but the blood was. Why were the shards fine to be found and cataloged but shards-with-blood needed to be cleaned up or Ema would've been toast?

8. Arriving on the scene, Lana instantly "knew" that Ema shoved Neil onto the sword (rather than assuming that Darke shoved him or Neil slipped). She decided to stage the scene in order to protect Ema, but.......for reasons????? she took a picture of the body first and kept it forever without showing anyone.

9. Goodman had Ema draw what she saw on the back of the official evidence list rather than a clean sheet of drawing paper. Her drawing is not particularly incriminating unless you look really closely (certainly Goodman never noticed the problems therein), but Lana and Gant weren't taking any chances. So they CUT THE EVIDENCE LIST IN HALF and didn't present HALF of the detectives' evidence they'd collected and poured over for months, rather than just WRITE A NEW LIST. This caused the rumors about the case being hinky, because the detectives noticed half their evidence wasn't presented in court. That led to Angel and Jake being demoted--a suspicious cover-up action that otherwise wouldn't have been needed!--and caused them to investigate on their own. This in turn led to Gant and Lana's downfall. That's right: the entire case would never have happened if Gant had just rewritten the evidence list on a clean sheet.

10. Edgeworth somehow did not notice the evidence list was incomplete by half, despite being the prosecutor. The detectives did not ask him or bring any of this up with him or in their court testimony.

11. Jake Marshall decides he can't let the case die. Now remember: he somehow doesn't know about the fingerprint locks and that only Goodman can open his own safe. Does he go into the evidence room with his own key to visit his own locker and try to quietly yoink the evidence from Goodman's locker? NO. He steals Goodman's ID and then.........doesn't use it. He waits, despite knowing it's "Despose of Evidence" Day.

12. Goodman goes to Gant and says "I lost my ID and it's trash day; can you help?" Gant goes with him to the locker to clean it out. Goodman decides "you know, I really can't throw this away when Jake is still obsessed about it." Does Gant persuade Goodman that this will give Jake closure? Threaten Goodman? Offer to take Jake the evidence himself and then trash it? Blackmail Goodman with some piece of something he saved against this very possibility? No, he impulsively kills him RIGHT THEN AND THERE.

13. Without being seen, Gant cleans the entire scene and carries the body to.........Edgeworth's car, but apparently not to frame him? Why not put the body and knife in Goodman's car and drive it away later with Goodman's own keys??

14. In order to get the body to Lana for her to dispose of it, Gant tells Edgeworth "go take this random piece of evidence back to your office, don't ask why", which is hugely suspicious. Edgeworth does not notice that his trunk is open from a broken lock. Edgeworth does not hit any potholes that cause his trunk to fly open and a body to flop out into the street. There was a very real risk that he or someone else would notice the body. This was Gant's master plan for getting the body away from the police station.

15. This is when Jake uses Goodman's ID to access the evidence room. Someone asks him to show his ID. Does Jake pull out his own ID and say he saw a bug over on this side of the room and wanted to squash it? No, he stabs a fellow officer and runs the very real risk of having said officer see his face and be able to identify him. Fleeing, he doesn't wad up his bloody coat and carry it out with him; instead, he stashes it in HIS OWN LOCKER, ensuring he would immediately be the suspect if they performed a search of the room.

16. Lana is called by Gant and told to cover up Goodman's killing by disposing of the body which is now in her parking garage. She agrees without needing to be pressed or threatened; she doesn't, by the way, even know that Gant kept evidence on Ema. She's never once needed to be threatened; she's always done whatever Gant says without balking. She's not really being blackmailed; she's just doing unethical "favors" for a guy who did an unethical favor for her first!

17. But anyway, she's been told to hide a body. Does she put the body in her car to drive it away? Nope! She sees the SL-9 knife and doesn't want anyone to find it and ask about Ema, so she sticks it in her scarf and puts it in Edgeworth's exhaust pipe. Edgeworth's car, not hers?? Then she re-stabs Goodman with Edgeworth's knife so there will be a murder weapon if the body she intends no one to find is found. Then she calls Ema--the sister she wants to protect--and tries to tell her to come collect the SL-9 evidence, rather than just putting it in her car and driving it somewhere else. Let me repeat: SHE TRIES TO MAKE HER A CO-CONSPIRATOR TO MURDER. Then Angel tackles her unexpectedly. Lana had no way to realize she was about to be captured, yet this sequence only makes sense if she knew she was about to be captured.

18. Jake Marshall, arriving on the scene and realizing that someone murdered the guy who'd he'd recently begged to help him with SL-9, throws Goodman's ID on the ground by the parking garage stairwell. God only knows why.

19. SUBJECTIVE: Edgeworth is retconned as having been innocent all along. This makes a mockery of Phoenix's motivation to become a defense attorney (he wanted to reach out to Edgeworth and ask him to stop forging evidence) and doesn't adequately explain why he was so suspicious that people were writing newspaper articles about him, specifically, being suspected of unethical behavior. It's also very strange that Lana was the source of rumors about him; she had everything to lose by pointing out that Edgeworth's cases were hinky because it risked someone re-opening SL-9 and pointing the finger at Ema.

20. SUBJECTIVE: A "fanficcy" tone is sustained between the excessive fawning over Edgeworth, the return of incidental characters for no reason (the Busboy? really?), and the way each of the four first cases are echoed in this case: From Case 1, the power outage. From Case 2, the bloody note on which an innocent's name was apparently written by the victim but the note was forged by the real killer. From Case 3, the weapon bait-and-switch where the murder weapon appeared to be one thing but was actually an incidental piece of scenery at the scene. From Case 4, the plot of a young child thinking they accidentally murdered someone but ultimately being innocent. The running joke in which Gumshoe says people look like they're at a funeral. The silly tone is a LOT.


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